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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..

"The Other Mozart" is a suitcase play – one of those shows where a single actress can pack the entire contents that creates the setting – costume, wig, and props, and go anywhere in the world. It is the way Samantha Hoefer will arrive in Miami to present Sylvia Milo's one-woman play about Maria Anna Mozart, the not nearly as famous older sibling of that 18th century rock star Wolfgang Ama..

Early on in the Argentinean film “El Último Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. theatrical debut this week, a deceptively quaint and humorous scene takes place between the film’s protagonist, 88-year-old Abraham Bursztein and his young granddaughter. The little girl refuses to join in a family photo with Abraham surrounded by his many grandchildren. When he cajoles and insists, ..

Gone are the days when filmmakers needed huge budgets, and major movie studios backing them with big bucks to get their films seen, according to two producers who spent decades in Los Angeles, and have now moved their base to Miami Beach. "From a creative standpoint, there are amazing opportunities for filmmakers today," says producer Kevin Chinoy, who, along with producing partner Frances..

Mark St. Germain has achieved ongoing success with small-cast plays involving historical figures in fictional scenarios, and South Florida has been as welcoming to his work as the rest of the country. St. Germain’s “Camping With Henry and Tom,” about a 1920s camping trip involving Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding, was produced in 1996 by New Theatre in Coral Gables..

Mexico City-based theater collective Teatro Ojo's works are constantly evolving. Nothing is ever really finished. That's because they take from every performance. Whatever the audience experiences, observes, feels, and offers feedback, which they highly encourage, all is used, considered, and included in the evolution of the same piece, or introduced into another new work. Two of the ..

“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..

“Once” has always been touched with magic. And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. When Irish director-screenwriter John Carney first told the tale of a heartbroken Irish street musician and the spunky Czech pianist who reignites his passion, a 200..

Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami has been on a trajectory best described as meteoric. In its first 18 months DDTM has been a 2017 Knight Challenge Grant recipient and now will debut at New Y..

Amirah Sackett came up as a dancer in Chicago’s hip hop scene at a time when women were rare in the mostly male community. But she also visibly stood out as a Muslim. She keeps her hair cover..

Inside the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, where Dance Now! Miami is in residence, there is a hub of activity as the company prepares for its performance on Saturday night of Contemporanea 201..

One of the signatures of the National Water Dance project since its inception seven years ago was that dance troupes, large or small, professional or school groups, were free to perform whate..

Miami City Ballet is in league with Russians – in a good way -- and this promises to make a selection of dances look great again. The company’s final program this season brings back Apollo an..

Hidden behind a busy street in North Miami Beach is the Ancient Spanish Monastery, where Dance Now! Miami will bring the past into the present – and back into the past. Ekphrasis describes th..

Sometimes dance seems as easy as walking down the street. John Heginbotham, founder and artistic director of Dance Heginbotham, describes his dancers as moving in an unaffected, natural manne..

On the heels of a year-plus parade of #MeToo confessions, celebrity shamings and women’s marches, comes Marisa Alma Nick’s female-power-packed “A Rebel in Venus.” “It wasn’t planned that ..

Choreographers are usually curious people. Augusto Soledade’s curiosity leads him in many directions, including ideas on Madonna, voguing, and selfies. It all began with “thoughts on identity..

The Porch – A Get Away from the Books at the Miami Book Fair

Photo: Inez Barlatier
Written by: Sean Erwin
Article Rating

Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain shuts down and nothing more goes in.

The organizers of the Miami Book Fair (MBF) know this, and so they’ve organized The Porch as an urban hang-out space of mostly free events located at the corner of NE 3rd Street and NE 2nd Avenue. Think of it as a break from the MBF mash of book stalls, author readings, signings and workshops.

From Monday through Sunday, Nov. 19, The Porch offers live music, craft beer, karaoke, burlesque, comedy, games and food trucks where MBF attendees can plug in their brain’s USB and just re-charge.

The mastermind behind the week is Melissa Messulam, program manager for The Porch. Messulam has engineered a break for both the binging bibliophiles and their children by programming adistinctly Miami, multi-disciplinary experience; and then crossing over many of The Porchacts with The Children’s Alleyprogram -- another set of MBF concurrent events Messulam aims at the young.

“We programmed The Porch to have a space during the MBF that was all about community building, and this year we have a very cohesive program,” says Messulam. “Because it occurs under the umbrella of the Miami Book Fair, we want it to be multi-disciplinary.”

The program is also inter-generational. “We’ve set things up so that young, emerging Miami artists can have a dialogue with older, more established artists,” she explains. “Every evening an emerging artist shares space with an established artist.” And then many of these artists also spend time teaching music and dance workshops with children as part of The Children’s Alley.

One of Messulam’s favorite acts, Inez Barlatier, is a good example of this.Barlatier is a young, Haitian-American performer whose music exudes Afro-Haitian influences from her choice of African instrumentation to the percussion-based rhythms that make her music so infectious with audiences. Barlatier plays at The Porchon Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., and then at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday she gives a percussion workshop for the kids as part of The Children’s Alley.

Another example Messulam offers of a cross-over act is PATH – an acronym for Preserving, Archiving & Teaching Hip Hop – a Miami-based hip-hop group that challenges the negative stereotypes and behaviors often associated with hip hop culture.

This will be the first time PATH performs and teaches at the festival. For Messulam, “They have been the quintessential Miami b-boy crew since the mid-90s. They use the hip-hop genre to teach our youth about the positive effects these artistic forms can have on a person.”

Fresh off their successful collaboration with London-based hip-hop theater artist Jonzi D at the Breakin’ Conventionfestival at the Arsht Center in October, Rudy Goblin and The Flipside Kings return to wow audiences with their DJ-ing, MC-ing, and b-boying/girling at The Porchon Friday, Nov. 17 at 10:00 a.m.Then they workshop the dance forms with children as part of The Children’s Alley Friday through Sunday (Nov. 17 to 19).

One artist Messulam singles out as a must-see is classical violinist and Miami music teacher Daniela Padron, whose latest album, Bach to Venezuela, melds the German composer with Venezuelan folk sounds.

In her recording of Bach’s “Minuet Medley,” Padron makes the classical line lilt at the end of phrases, magically catching the merengue rhythm kept up by bass, maracas, and the cuatro (think four-stringed Venezuelan ukulele).“Padron somehow makes it work,” adds Messulam. “You get that traditional Venezuelan Jorobo sound while at the same time you are definitely listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.”

If the MBF crowds and your literary binge leave you feeling manic, retreat to The Porchfor music and dance and maybe a little crayon therapy -- the latest edition of The Wynwood Coloring Book is also available at The Porch.

For a complete Porch schedule, visit https://www.miamibookfair.com/the-swamp-the-porch/

For a complete Children’s Alleyline-up, visit https://www.miamibookfair.com/program/childrens-alley/

 


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About The writer

Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.

Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.

He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.

Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see erwinsean.com.

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About the Writer

Por dos noches consecutivas, el Miami City Ballet (MCB), que dirige Lourdes López desde 2012, abrió las puertas de sus instalaciones en Miami Beach para ofrecer un encuentro Open Barre con e..